As soon as Jeremy Corbyn "secured his place on the ballot paper at the eleventh hour" what were we immediately told? (Morning Star,16/06/15) A left-wing Labour party can never win a general election; it "shows the party`s desire never to win again",said one scare-mongering Labour MP, whilst another insisted that with Corbyn at the helm, the Tories "would win a majority of a 100, possibly more". Such Blairite propagandawill not wash, and should be rejected. Blair may well have guessed correctly after the election defeats of Foot and Kinnock, but the country has changed hugely since then, and instantly placing the blame for the recent defeat on a manifesto insufficiently pro-business and aspiration-deficient is lazy politics.
The Tories won with 37% of the vote, meaning 63% not only disliked or distrusted Tory policies but are now open to Labour persuasion. When a government is promising the most right-wing agenda of modern times, with spending cut to 1930s levels, inequality rising, wages so low in-work benefits are essential, and deficit reduction taking precedence over investment, it is political suicide not to offer real alternatives. The Tories, also, have little intention of ending tax avoidance and evasion, and none whatsoever of increasing social mobility, with 70% of top job offers guaranteed still to be going in 2020 to products of selective or fee-paying institutions, and "working class candidates" still likely to be "systematically locked out of top legal and accountancy companies" as they are now (Morning Star,16/06/15). Voters will remember the asset-stripping, and sell-offs at low prices to friends in the City, so why would they be happy in the next election to vote for a Labour party that offers more of the same, only with a "human face"? Let the Tories make the mistake of assuming the electorate will take ten years of austerity passively!
Didn`t Miliband`s popularity soar in the polls when he announced his radical policies on "predatory capitalism" and energy price freezes? The election of Corbyn as leader might lead to a split in the party, with those on the "centre-right" breaking away, or even joining with the Tories, but a left-wing Labour party could well provide our politics with a much-needed impetus, and prove the Blairites wrong.